What is it? Emergency contraception, or the “morning after pill,” is a dosage of pills that can be taken up to 72 hours after intercourse. If EC is administered within the first 24 hours, it is more likely to effectively prevent a pregnancy from occurring. Emergency contraception does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases or infections. It is also not recommended that EC be used as your primary form of birth control, but as a back up when other options of contraception are not available.
How does it work? Emergency contraception pills contain the two hormones most commonly found in birth control pills: estrogen and progestin. Just like birth control pills, emergency contraception can prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg, stop or delay ovulation, and can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching itself to the lining in your uterus.
How effective is Emergency Contraception? If emergency contraception is taken within the first 24 hours following intercourse, there is a greater chance that a pregnancy will be prevented. However, you can take EC up to 72 hours after intercourse and still effectively prevent a pregnancy. The sooner you take the pills, the greater your chances are at preventing a pregnancy from occurring.
Advantages of Emergency Contraception · Can serve as an effective back up when other forms of birth control fail or are not readily available
· Can be purchased ahead of time so that it is available when needed
· Available at most pharmacies across the country with a prescription
Disadvantages of Emergency Contraception · Does not prevent the transmission of STDs and other infections
· Requires a prescription from a doctor
· May experience nausea and vomiting
Where can I get Emergency Contraception? Emergency contraception requires a prescription from a doctor and must be filled at a pharmacy. It is recommended to keep EC on hand so you don’t waste any time trying to fill a prescription after intercourse has occurred.